A social worker is someone who has studied social issues and the impact on individuals and families. There are four requirements to obtain a social work certificate: an approved post-secondary education, registration in continuing education, obtaining the required experience, and successfully completing the national exam. This profession is highly regulated, due to the large amount of influence and power they have to make decisions that impact an individual or family’s life.
In order to work as a social worker, you must have a social work certificate. This document allows an employee to use the title social worker when dealing the clients and other service providers. In some states, a social work certificate is issued to employees who have to obtain additional courses or experiences to qualify for the social worker national exam. Read the requirements for your state before applying for a position as a social worker.
All social workers must have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in social work, sociology, criminal justice, human services or psychology. Increasingly, social work agencies are requiring a master’s degree in social work, but this is not mandatory. A degree in social work is ideal, and allows the candidate to seek immediate employment in the social services sector.
The social work certificate requirements vary by state, but all require specific courses in social work. These courses include advanced family law, court procedures, and first aid. The required courses are available in the evening and weekends through a wide range of community colleges. Online courses are becoming more popular, due to the increased flexibility for full time professionals.
Some social work degree programs include a work term, which allows students to gain the experience required. If you don't have the necessary experience in the different areas of social work, the required hours can be obtained through your position in a social work agency. Review the list of required hours to qualify for the social work certificate. Keep track and make sure that you meet these requirements. The certificate is limited to a 24 month period.
The national exam for social work is held four times a year. Successful completion of the exam is necessary to become a licensed social worker. The exam in a combination of multiple choice and short answer questions. There are several firms that offer social work exam preparation classes to help you prepare. You cannot become a licensed social worker until you retake and pass the exam.